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April 26, 2009


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Somewhat off topic, but I had the privilege of catching Diary of a Country Priest on the big screen for the first time at BAM. I had seen the film maybe as many as 7 or 8 times on television, had read the novel, etc., but nothing could have prepared me for how significant the closeups felt at that size. Bresson's ineffable pacing, use of camera movement, all of it was practically overwhelming at times. The final image had a level of abstraction when projected at that size that television cannot approximate. The sheer size of the final image overwhelmed me, and I let my eyes go out of focus as I let the voice over (delivered, very oddly but somehow successfully, in English) hit me.

steve simels

Ah, the fabulous Teaneck Theater. A huge factor in my mispent youth over the years. I have vivid memories of seeing "Wild Wild Planet" there in the late 60s. Also "A Study in Terror," still the bast Sherlock Holmes pastiche ever made.

It's an old vaudeville house. I was depressed to discover last year that they've converted it into a Hell Quadraplex, but the good news is they kept the vintage decor for the whole place intact.

Ryan Kelly

I too was devestated when I found out that Big Screen Classics wouldn't be hosted at the Lafayette anymore... until I found out they were moving to Teaneck! (I've mentioned this here before but I'm in your old stomping ground, Fort Lee) The problem is that I work literally every Wednesday evening and haven't been able to attend. I'm hoping next season they mix it up a bit (i.e., fashion it to my exact convenience).

I'd actually lived here my whole life and always thought of Cedar Lane as well... bad. It's been a second-run house my entire life, though I knew it used to be a gorgeous single screen back-in-the-day. But I hear the theater they play the movies in is of more than adequate size and easily compares to the Lafayette. Cedar Lane is definitely as old as the Lafayette, but they never caved over in Suffern and kept it as a single screen (Cedar Lane has 5 screens I think).

Can we expect a guest appearance from Sr. Kenny in Teaneck some day?

Pete Apruzzese

Glenn & Joe:

Thanks for the kind words regarding our programs. Joe's reaction to "On the Waterfront" is *why* we do them. As nice as some of our home setups are, it's still not a 15'-high screen. Close-ups such as Joe describes of Brando have a much greater impact and, with a good audience, the film can only be enhanced by seeing as intended.

Regarding "A Face in the Crowd" - the current distributor (Castle Hill) maintains no 35mm prints and I have never come across one on the collector/archive circuit. "East of Eden" is already on my short list for the future :)

Ryan - don't know what next season's plans are yet regarding the scheduling.

Ryan Kelly

Hey Pete, thanks for the acknowledgment. My sadness at not being able to attend isn't completely selfish, though (just mostly), as I'm most disheartened that I can't support the only local revival film program! Fort Lee was the world's first movie capital, and it's a travesty that we don't have any movie houses in the area acknowledging this rich history. Would you accept donations? I e-mailed the program back at the beginning of the season, but no one ever got back to me on this matter.

My e-mail is [email protected], please be in touch if you find the time. Thanks.

Ryan Kelly

And, also with respect to "A Face in the Crowd" (though this may not make your job any easier), I know Film Forum played it a few years back, and they have the studios strike new 35mm prints when they exhibit them.

Pete Apruzzese

Thanks, Ryan. No, we don't accept donations as it's a private business and we really, truly, do not run these shows as profit makers. Not that we want to lose money, but as long as we cover expenses (the first season of Cedar Lane shows were a nice little hit) and can publicize the theatre, all is good.

Re: Face in the Crowd - Kazan (or Schulberg) used to have their own 35mm print they would bicycle around but the current distributor does not have access to it if it still exists. The FF may have also have gotten it from MoMA, I'll have to check (though MoMA is not the easiest to deal with).

Ryan Kelly

Glad to hear have your success, Pete. I'm thrilled you're not in the position to need them. I wish you many successful programs at Cedar Lane, I hope to attend next season. Best of luck to you all--- you're truly fighting the good fight and you deserve all the success you can get. Even though I haven't been able to attend due to scheduling conflicts, I won't deny that it warms my heart that you guys are in town.

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